Setting a Custom Time Zone for Your Project

Related Tags: best practices reporting project administration

For each project, you can define the time zone to apply to reporting. This customization enables you to deliver solutions that are sensitive to the local time zone of the project’s users. So, for example, daily data reflects the definition of a day in the users’ time zone.

NOTE: By default, GoodData projects are configured to report data in Pacific Standard Time (UTC -08:00) time zone.

This article describes the steps to customize the time zone on a per-project basis.

NOTE: This configuration change must be applied through the gray pages. You must be an administrator for the project to access the gray pages. For more information, see Accessing Gray Pages for a Project.

Implications of Time Zones on Reporting

In reporting, configuring a precise time zone can be very important in terms of matching the reports to the values in the system of record. For example, if your GoodData project and your accounting system are set to different time zones, quarterly figures may be different in the two systems if revenue that arrived at the end of the quarter is recognized in the following day (and quarter) in your GoodData project.

Specific to GoodData, project Editors and Administrators may build metrics that use MAQL macros such as THIS, PREVIOUS, and NEXT, each of which is defined relative to the current date context (such as day, month, year and so on). If these types of macros are used consistently throughout the project, reports may be changed significantly when the time zone is modified.

Time Zone Tips

Tip: Where possible, time zones in your projects should match the defined time zone in your systems of record. If that is not possible, you should set the time zone to reflect the local time of most users of the project.

Tip: As part of your ETL processes, your project’s incoming data should be normalized to a single consistent time zone. For example, if you are collecting data from two different data sources, whose data is each recorded in a different time zone, the ETL processes should normalize the incoming data streams to a single time zone. Ideally, it is this time zone that is applied within the project itself.

Tip: Before changing the time zone, you should inform users and identify the potential impacts on report. To minimize disruptions, the change should be applied during off-peak hours.

Configuration through the Gray Pages

Please complete the following steps to configure the time zone through the gray pages associated with your project.

Steps:

  1. Login to the GoodData Portal. From the Projects menu, select the project whose time zone you wish to change.
  2. Open the gray pages for the project. See Accessing Gray Pages for a Project.

    The list of available resources is displayed:

    Available gray pages resources for a project
    Available gray pages resources for a project
  3. From the list of available resources, click the service resource.

    The list of Services resources is displayed:

    Available Service resource(s)
    Available Services resource(s)
  4. Click the project timezone link.

    The Project Timezone resource is displayed:

    Setting project time zone to a custom value
    Setting project time zone to a custom value
  5. From the Project default Time Zone, select the time zone to use for your project.
    1. If you do not see the preferred time zone in the drop-down list, you may enter a new time zone value in Olson DB format in the textbox.

      NOTE: Entering a new time zone value removes one of the time zone values from the drop-down list.

    2. The values to use are stored in the TZ\* column in the article referenced below.
    3. UTC offset values are stored in the fifth and sixth column.
    4. For more information, see List of TZ database time zones.
  6. To apply your changes, click Submit.

After the change is processed, all subsequent queries to the project return report data that reflects the new time zone setting.